CCAR Leader Sees ‘haziness’ in Bakke Ruling

The president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Rabbi Ely Pilchik, declared here today that “we of the CCAR who always have fought for real implementation of civil rights in the United States, will continue to work with all segments of the population toward the genuine development of democracy in our country.” The CCAR is holding its 89th annual convention here.

Pilchik asserted that “haziness hovers over the entire Bakke issue and it is not at all clear who has won and who has last” in the Supreme Court decision yesterday which ordered Allon Bakke’s admission to the University of California medical school at Davis. “However, it is the duty of all right-thinking Americans in each state of the nation to join together to effectuate a society of equal opportunity in education, employment, health service and in all human needs for the American citizenry,” he said.

The CCAR also adopted a resolution that it believes that “affirmative action utilizing goals and time-tables is an effective means of correcting historical injustice in our society….In the light of the Supreme Court decision in the Bakke case, we call on the Jewish community to close ranks with the various dispossessed groups in American life and to support and promote the use of such instruments of remediation in all the institutions of American life.”

The court, in a majority decision yesterday, ruled that it was unlawful for the medical school to reserve a certain number of places for minority applicants. In effect, it upheld a California Supreme Court ruling that Bakke had been discriminated against because he is white. But the court also held that government-supported programs may take race into account “to remedy disadvantages cast on minorities by past racial prejudices.”

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